What if #Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was your best friend?

Liv, let me chit and chat witchu for a second, girl...
"What if Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was your best friend? What would you do?"

This was a question posed to me via email by an angry reader who presumed that me loving the show was the equivalent of me cosigning the foolery there within. The reader thought I was an advocate of the blatant shenaniganism that goes on Thursday at 9pm central on ABC (if we're lucky). I have to tell you that I was GIDDY to get this question. Like hop out of my chair, moonwalk sideways, ask Annie if she's okay, hit a prep two times and end with my middle aged version of a twerk happy. (And that's damn happy ya'll)

Why was I so happy? Because I get to reiterate for the eleventieth zillion time - this ish is FICTION!! I love it because of its purely escapist, ratchet-ass, over-the-top-dramatical goodness. Though there are moments that ring true like a zinger to my heart when they hit on a single, successful sister girl struggle; for the most part I can eat my popcorn and sip my wine shaking my head with a "whew! glad it's not me" gleefulness.

But to directly answer the question, if Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was my girl, here's what I'd do:

1) Move to Guyana, the place of my father's birth. President Fitz is glorious to look at and delivers that one word, "Hi." in the best thigh-quivering way ever but Ghostie has daddy issues, invisible children, a shrew of a wife and a closeness to Scotch bottles that makes me nervous for the sake of our great nation.

2) Take Liv on vacay. Girlie needs a no-strings "Stella groove" sun and rum-soaked week to the Caribbean in the worst damn way. She is way overdue for a whole lotta woo-sah. And I'd invite her mama along because I want to see wherefore Livvie comes from. 

3) Drag Harrison into the closest electrical closet and have my wicked way with him before telling him that no matter how damn fine he is or fast he talks? Gingham shirts and striped ties together are doing too much. 

4) Remind Liv that love is not supposed to be this damn hard. And to please stop looking for it in all the wrong places.

5) Give Abby a hug, hire Huck and Quinn to handle the rest of those pesky Al-Qaida

6) Setup Mellie and Edison on a date. That would be an intriguing power couple.

7) Recruit Cyrus and David to full-time gladiator status. 

8) Put Hollis in jail (for so many reasons). 

9) Dig Verna up, slap her around and then re-bury her without the pomp and circumstance.

10) Disappear Jake. I don't what his reasons are - luring someone you've been spying on to your bed is uber-creepy. Uber. 

And last but not least - Initiate an Olivia Pope and Associates Bible Study with room for friends and fam... cuz they all need Jesus.

Anything else? If Olivia was your homegirl - what would you do?

What you won't do for love... A Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle

One of my favorite songs of all time is Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love" - it's one of those soulful classics that I grew up singing and had not nary a clue what the feazy I was singing about. 

I was thinking about these lyrics the other night.
Some people go around the world for love
But they may never find what they dream of
What you won't do, do for love
You've tried everything but you don't give up
In my world only you makes me do
For love what I would not do
Mr. Dude was in town and we were enjoying an evening with Trey and his sweetie du jour, Robin. I had already shamed David at the spades table (Dude, did you seriously just cut my ace to make your book? What did you think the jack of diamonds was going to do for you? When you have more than 5 spades, you need to up your bid!). Then after a lengthy discussion in which for the sake of our relationship we decided not to play any more games for the evening, we found ourselves watching Sparkle

There's a fairly horrific scene in which crazy dude Satin tells pretty girl Sister that he wants her to crawl for him. I had a visceral reaction not just to him beating her all to hell but also the thought of being asked to crawl. Trey, perennial troublemaker, asked - "So you wouldn't crawl if your man asked you to?"

My jaw dropped open as David and I exchanged glances and the first thought in my head flew out of my mouth, "He wouldn't be my man if he's asking me to crawl."

Robin asked, "Why would you say that?"

Me, "Why would someone who signed on to be my equal, my partner expect me to crawl? I wouldn't expect him to."

David piped in, "It's a relationship not slavery."

Trey said, "So what would you do for your man? What's the most extreme thing you would do? Give up your last dime, go homeless? Would you take a bullet? Commit a crime? Go to jail?"

Me, "Am I dating Suge Knight all of a damn sudden?" Everyone laughed and Robin asked Trey, "Are you Ride or Die? Would you do all of those things for love?"

Trey shrugged, "I don't know. Aren't you supposed to do anything for love?"

David, "In theory, yes." We fell silent for a minute, then I said, "This is one of those, you don't know until you're tested type of things. Sitting here right now it's easy to say sure, I'll jump in front of a bullet but when it's going down I may be inclined to dive under a car and hope he runs like hell."

Trey snarks, "My man ain't worth a bullet?"

Me, "I'll tell you what, if you're around - I'll push YOU in front of the bullet, how's that?"

After that we changed the subject. (Though Robin was sending Trey laser beam side-eyes the rest of the night) But I was wondering- just what would I do for love? I don't think I'm as "ride-or-die-down-for-whatever" as I used to be. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? BougieLand, what would you do? Are you catching bullets for your s/o? Willing to burn-up-your-clothes-smash-up-your-ride? Do share...

Three Wishes

I blame Jayme for the lateness of this post. I actually had three posts half-written until she called and got me sucked into one of her "What would you do?" game. When she does family counseling, she uses an icebreaker where she tells each member of the family to wish for three things. They write them down, put them in a box and then she pulls them out and the whole family tries to guess whose wish it was. 

This led to us having a genie-in-the-bottle discussion. If you had three wishes just for yourself and couldn't wish for more wishes - what would you wish for?

I grappled around with wishes for acceptance of circumstance, tolerance of others, unshakeable faith, a size four body and an unlimited shoe budget. I got maudlin wishing for one more conversation with my father who would no doubt be displeased to interrupt his heavenly rest to come down here and chat with me about nonsense. I thought about peace on earth but thought that might be too much for a genie to deal with. After much debate, I landed on 1) Health 2)Happiness 3)Wisdom. 

So BougieLand - What What You Do? If you had three wishes that could only be used for yourself and you can't ask for more wishes... what would you wish for? Do share...

Could you be... Gloria Cain?

In the wake of Herman Cain's heauxnanigans, several people on the Twitter began speculating on his wife's state of mind and future plans. This past Saturday, as Gloria Cain stood doing her best Season One Alicia Florrick (if you don't watch The Good Wife, you really really should) imitation - I felt a little queasy. As Herman announced that he was "at peace with his wife" and she was at peace with him, she smiled and clapped like he'd just delivered the MLK "I Have a Dream" speech.

What, I wondered, could possibly motivate a woman to stand up and clap for a man who at the very least has a wandering eye but most probably is a blatant philanderer and grabber of random asses. The minute I asked the question, my timeline flooded with two flavors of responses. Either she was a good Christian woman and was standing by her man to keep the covenant or she had worked out her own economic recovery plan. In short, Gloria was getting paid.

Gloria has been married to dude for 43 years. Georgia is an "equitable distribution" state. I'm not an attorney but I believe that means she gets paid whether she stays or goes. 

There are a lot of things I joke about doing for money. And when push came to shove with millions of dollars at stake, I think I'd pause and consider the "what would you do" question. But this right here? Standing up at a nationally televised event with a man who has completely humiliated me? Could not do it.

I remember years ago, I was in a hair salon with Deion Sanders' first wife. She said she could not take all the extracurriculars and was going to bail. Now most of us in there were young and single and involved with some flavor of professional athlete. Half of the room told her to get a good attorney and bounce, the other half of the room said to give him a chance to turn the corner but stay. His earning potential in the long run was worth a little suffering now. I was stunned. I'd never heard marriage broken down like an income and expense sheet before or since. That "what happens on the road, stays on the road" nonsense did not fly with me. (Hence the failure of that relationship.) I just remember her saying, "I've run out of cheeks and blind eyes to turn." There it is.

We don't know Gloria Cain. She seems to be a real class act, old Southern bouge if you will. We definitely don't know Gloria's motivation. Maybe she really loves that idiot man, maybe she doesn't believe in divorce, maybe she believes these women are all just out to get him... I don't know. I do know that I couldn't do it. Not for all the money in the world.

Bougie Brothers and Sisters. I think we've asked before if you would stay with a cheating spouse. But would you stay with a cheating spouse for a multi-million dollar payout? Why do you think Gloria stayed? Do you think she'll leave eventually? And what do you think of the "Hillary stayed, Gloria should too" argument? Please discuss...

Could you.. be on a reality show?

So BougieSis was approached earlier in the year about participating in a Miami-based reality series about Human Resources Professionals. Something about putting them all up in a South Beach hotel together and competing for talent. She politely declined but we had a good chuckle over that one. An HR reality show? Really? I'm not surprised I haven't seen the promos for Real Recruiters of South Beach..

Then I was called this week about a possible reality show about aspiring authors living a house together (Why does it always involve shoving strangers in a house together?) while battling to win a multi-book deal.  Um.. er. No. In fact, hell no. 

The woman who called me was stunned silent. She asked me, "Why not?" and then sat in silence while I listed no less than 15 reasons why I wasn't interested. When I finally wound down she asked, "Is there any scenario you can dream of where you'd appear on any reality show?"


Bougie Sistahs of Dallas? The Black and The Bougie? Who Wants to Be Bougie? How to Turn a Pookie Into a Preston?  Keep Peaches off the Pole? Bougie Hook-ups? After thinking it over for a nano-second, I replied - "Um, no."

She asked me to think about it and give her a call back. I sent her info over to my agent and asked her to make it go away. Forever.

So I ask you, BougieLand... could you appear on a reality show? If so, what kind of show? Talent? Match-Making? Competition? What would it take for you all to show up on Real Bougienistas of the Internet?

Could you... "Ginger White" yourself? (Out your own ratchetness)

I'm not sitting in judgment of Ginger White. I'm not even sure she's telling the truth. Nor do I 100% gibbadam. Herman "Candy" Cain was never going to be my candidate. (Never. Ever.) But let's say she is speaking true for the sake of this post. According to multiple sources, Ginger is a single mom, a former businesswoman who has been evicted from her home, filed for bankruptcy, been accused of stalking, sued someone (not Cain) for sexual harassment and lost a libel suit. Judgment aside, the fact is her life appears to be a hot mess. 

So why add to the hot messiness by claiming a 13-year affair with a married man who is allegedly running for President? This is one of those things that make you say "Hmmm."

A few thoughts before I make my point...
1) Thirteen years is not casual. That's not an affair. That's a second family.
2) Ginger had to know that by going public her entire life would be dissected for widespread consumption & speculation
3) What are these chicks seeing in Uncle Hermy that I'm not? Eww. And. Ick.

Moving on... I've got some ratchet in my historical closet and I'm taking most of that ish to da grave, ya heard? You will not be catching Michele on a talk show couch admitting to X, Y, or Z. In fact, unless someone can prove ratchety allegations about me? I will deny, deny, deny. Come at me Horatio Caine (not Herman Cain) style and maybe (just maybe) I'll admit that it was me.

What good comes of these public confessions? Are mistresses everywhere in a better place because Ging got a conscience? Are politicians and public figures going to stop extra-marital fornication in fear of getting Gingered? I just wonder why anyone would go on national TV and open up all their sintasticness (thanks @ShawnSoze for the word) for the world to see?

So I wonder, if it came down to it - could I out my own ratchetassness the way Ginger White did? She admitted that there was nothing admirable about her confession or her life struggles. So why tell it? Because, in her words, she doesn't feel that "Herman Cain is fit to be President." But Ginger - we already knew that sweetheart. So unless someone is buying you a house and replenishing your 401(k), your dirty laundry airing was for naught. As for me, I couldn't do it. 

Tell me BougieLand, could you "Ginger White" yourself? [Ginger-Whiting is my new favorite term for people who drop dime on themselves] Does it really serve the greater good to do so? And seriously, aren't some things just better kept in the back of the closet buried under leg warmers and parachute pants? Please discuss...

Could you date... a player/playette?

(From the Urban Dictionary)
Player: A male who is skilled at manipulating ("playing") others, and especially at seducing women by pretending to care about them, when in reality they are only interested in sex. Possibly derived from the phrases "play him for a fool", or "play him like a violin". 

Playette: a female version of a player can play in several different ways: 
a) have multiple boyfriends with or without them knowing about each other 
b) lead many different guys on but never actually commit 
c) goes from guy to guy to guy to guy to guy 
(see Hall & Oates Maneater)

Let me kick this post off with a shameless plug. In my 2012 release, Pretty Boy Problems, the male lead in the story - Beau Montgomery is a player. He's an unrepentant hound dog who has skated through life on his charm, looks and uh- cocoa prowess for years. It isn't until he meets his equal on all levels who simply isn't having it that he decides to change his ways. But it takes him a little time to completely drink the "Get Right" Koolaid and in the meantime, the heroine in the book is giving him all manner of hell.

In one scene, Mr. Beau literally leaves the bed of one woman and then realizes his mistake and shows up at old girl's house in the middle of the night to confess and make amends. I had to do all sorts of literary backflips to make this scene work (and of course I can't tell you how it turns out) because I couldn't fathom such a thing in real life.

If a young, single person wants to pass out their cocoa with two-for-one coupons, so be it. As long as you are being safe, responsible and not leaving a trail of disillusioned or broken people in your wake - do you. It's when a person is playing with people's heads and hearts that I have issues. I also look with skeptical side-eye at people "past a certain age" who are still out in the streets stirring Le Chocolat with everything that moves. Discernment, anyone? I tend to cross my arms and tap my foot when I hear someone bemoaning the lack of a "serious" relationship when I see them leading with the cocoa.

All of this to say, I'm too old to date players. I have zero patience for "taming" someone who wishes to run wild. You needed to catch me in my twenties for that when I truly believed that all any man needed was a "good woman" to get his act together. Let's stop and giggle over that one, shall we?

This goes both ways, fellas. There are some sister-girls out there wildin' with no remorse as well. Playing is playing no matter what side of the fence it's coming from.

So I ask you, BougieLand? Could you date a player/playette? I mean seriously, for the long term. Don't players need love too or do they have reform to make the "serious consideration" list? Anyone in BougieLand a "reformed player"? In a relationship with one? (I do know some of you personally and will side-eye the hell out of your comments) Thoughts, comments, confessions? Do share...

Could you... make a sex tape?

For the most part, I say what people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business. Really. Do you and her and him. Whatever, boo-boo, it's your world. I truly believe this. Until the privacy of your home hits the internet and twenty people send me the link.. then I have a problem. 

I know in this age of sexting and camera phones and folks swapping body part pics like post-it notes that a film of your naked aerobics may not seem like a big deal. It is to me. That seems like too much sharing. I recall a few years ago meeting a guy online and the third sentence he typed was "send me pictures of your body" - wait, what? I don't know you like that. Can I get a coffee and a zip code where you live before you ask for previews of the good 'n plenty?

One of the exes really wanted to make a sex tape. Which was surprising as he was a bit of a celeb and you would think he'd be more cautious about that sort of thing. Nevertheless, he persisted in asking and I persisted in saying hell naw. He brought it up any time there was the most remotely related conversational thread:
Me: "Let's go see a movie tonight."
Him: "Or we could stay in and make a movie tonight."
Le Sigh. It's not that I'm a prude. I'm really not. But:
1) I have no desire to see and hear myself in the throes of cocoa. None whatsoever. 
2) I just know I'd be the one person whose housekeeper exterminator cable repair guy ex-s.o.-with-a-grudge stumbled across it and decided to unleash it on YouTube. 
3) I'm trying to get through life with only a certain number of people seeing me naked. 
And last but not least 4) BougieMom is still alive and kickin' - I'd prefer not to send her to the grave with that image in her mind.

I know, I know. Believe me the ex assured me hundreds of time that we would make the video, watch it and then erase it. No harm, no foul. Yet and still.... can't do it.

In speaking with a male friend of mine last week, he confessed that he and the ex-wife had made a few of these videos and now that they were separating, he was concerned that she had copies somewhere and would leak them to the board at the university where he now teaches. I said I could see where that would be a little bit of a problem but since it was him and his wife and they were consenting adults, it wasn't as bad as others. Then he shared a few details about the goings-on immortalized on these videos. After I got over the ick factor I advised him to seek and destroy the evidence.

What say you, BougieLand? Could you make (have you made) a tape? What would you do if it ended up on YouTube? Should people that work in positions of "moral authority" just stay away from cameras while naked? Thoughts, comments, experiences? Do share...

Could you date... a religious fanatic?

As usual happens over a holiday weekend, I played catch up with a few friends. I still have a few to go but it's always interesting/eyeopening/entertaining to see what's been going on with people over the last twelve (twenty-four?) months.

I caught up with a girlfriend of mine from way, way back in the day. She is a reformed wild child who now punctuates her points by adding Bible verses to the end of her sentences. They seem a little over the top but she's determined to tack them on. For instance, in discussing her youngest who is a teenager and more than a little rebellious she added, "I told her that she was a noble vine who became a degenerate plant. Jeremiah 2, you know?"

Um, alrighty then. Her big news is that she is dating a "minister" (I use the quotes because he just proclaimed himself a prophet of God one day) who only preaches and lives "Old Testament" faith. 

**brakes screeching**

Anytime I hear about someone who is only into one part (and not the best part) of the Bible, I just have to pump the brakes. Say what?

Apparently dude has made up a strict set of rules involving the conduct of the women of the world. Interesting things like not leaving the house after sundown. Only speaking when being spoken to and of course, my favorite - never denying The One God Sent To You sexual favors whenever you are called upon to do your duty.

So am I the only one who thinks dude is a two-cent wannabe cult leader in the making? Since I pull no punches, I advised her to run towards the river and turn left at the lamp without looking back. She is convinced that this man has been sent to her from God to teach her something. Yes, I agreed. He has been sent to tell you What Not To Do.

I've dated semi-religious, back-sliding religious, nebulous faith-based, and fake-ass calling themselves Christian folks. I've dated straight up sinners and a dude or two who were trying so hard to be pious it was pitiful. I've dated believers who are trying to walk the path and non-believers who didn't believe there was a path. My consensus has long been that I want somebody who is pew-sitting but not Bible-thumping.

Talking to girlie got me to thinking - could I date someone who was uber-uber-religious, bordering on fanatic? BougieLand, could you? Could date someone who went to church five days (or more) a week? Could you date an ordained minister or someone from a strict Orthodox sect? Would you feel comfortable? On the flip, if you are religious - could you date an Atheist? Doesn't that throw off the entire "equally yoked" concept? Could you build a long-term relationship with someone from a completely different religion? Would you convert? Is there such a thing as too religious? Any one, some or all of the above. Thoughts, comments, experiences  Do share...

Brown Sugar - WWYD?

Sanaa Lathan is the career woman on the rise. She's got the swag job, the trendy apartment, the cute wardrobe and no man (at first). She does have a good friend from childhood though. Taye Diggs plays the music exec with a crisis of conscience and a high maintenance fiance. He's so glad his good friend is moving back to NYC. Now they can hang out, he can give her dating tips, all sorts of fun is just around the corner. Nicole Ari Parker plays Taye's bougie-in-a-bad-way s/o and Boris Kodjoe plays Sanaa's self-absorbed (can we say stereotype?) baller boyfriend. In supporting sidekick roles are Queen Latifah and Mos Def (who kind of stole the movie). Anyway, put yourself in this situation:

You and one particularly tasty friend of yours go way back to elementary school days. You've seen each other through a lot and the friendship is still hanging in. You two are like grits and shrimp. (No? Too Southern?) You two are like popcorn and butter. Sure, you've wondered what it might be like to play clothes-free cocoa games with them but you value the friendship. You've been known to stare at this person like they are the last shrimp on the buffet and it's been a minute since you had seafood. Funny, they look at you the same way. But the timing is always off and now you're seeing somebody and they just got out of a bad relationship. 

Dear readers - what would you do? Would you risk losing a lifelong friendship to see if the chemistry is there for a real chance at love with your best friend? Or do you keep your pals in the friend zone and never cross that line? Do best friends make the best lovers? Who has ended up in a romantic relationship with a long-time friend and how did it turn out? Do tell...